West sanctions can cause 'quick tap on brakes' not stop Iran's nuke push: Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Western sanctions could at the most cause a "quick tap on the brakes" in Tehran's nuclear program, but will not slow it down substantially.
Iran's state-run media quoted Ahmadinejad as saying that the "West is not happy with Iran's progress" in technological fields including uranium enrichment.
"You think that by resorting to oil and currency issues, you are able to press the Iranian nation and stop it from its path? You are wrong," Ahmadinejad said.
"Maybe this works like a quick tap on the brakes in driving, but the Iranian nation will find its way quickly and will continue," he added.
According to the Washingto Post, Ahmadinejad also said that the West should respect Iran's nuclear rights.
"Do you really worry about a nuclear bomb? No, this is mere pretext. These are sheer lies. You are unhappy because you see Iran is progressing. You want to take revenge on the Iranian nation but you cannot," he said.
Iranian leaders have consistently taken a defiant tone toward the series of punitive oil and banking measures enacted by the U.S. and Europe over concerns Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons, the Post said.
Iran denies that it is pursuing weapons technology, saying that its program is for peaceful purposes, it added.